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 Japan Nationals 2015

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COHK
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PostSubject: Japan Nationals 2015   Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:13 am

1st day of practice, in news:

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20151224-00000065-dal-spo

Mao showed up in un-official practice with a face full of spirit. Her 3A looks fine as usual. She skated to free program, but with mistakes on 3Lz and 3-3 jumps. And she worked on correcting these jumps afterwards.

NB: later on there will be drawing of skating order broadcasting live. For 12/25 since there will be competitions for pair/dance/men's SP, there is actually no practice for ladies tomorrow!

Adding: links to photos
http://www.daily.co.jp/newsflash/general/2015/12/24/0008672474.shtml?ph=2

She looks happy!

Adding II: NHK news -
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20151224/k10010351881000.html

It is reported that Mao landed 3A successfully (in practice). It also indicates that there's a change of jump layout to her SP, though no specification as for which jumps. Mao says: 'During GPF there was depressed feeling. But now it feels not bad. She wants to strive through (the competition) till the very last moment.

Adding III: still in the news -
http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20151224-00000083-dal-spo

It says here Mao indicates her SP layout will change to 3A, 3F2L, 3L
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PostSubject: Re: Japan Nationals 2015   Thu Dec 24, 2015 5:34 am

Starting order of the last 2 groups of ladies:

G4
19 Matsuda (JGP Spain bronze, moving up to Sr)
20 Hongo
21 Imai
22 Nagai
23 Murakami
24 Nakashio

G5
25 Mao
26 Takahashi
27 Kihara
28 Nishino (this will be her last yr of skating)
29 Wakaba
30 Satoko
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PostSubject: Re: Japan Nationals 2015   Fri Dec 25, 2015 5:57 am

Practice 12/25

NB: As the arena is devoted to competitions of dance, pairs and men's SP, ladies' are having practices in a sub-rink in Sapporo city.

In news:
http://www.daily.co.jp/newsflash/general/2015/12/25/0008675362.shtml
http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/20151225/fgr15122515290007-n1.html

Mao practiced the SP, in which she had a fall on 3A, but completed the jump combination afterwards followed by 3L(not quite sure if it was 3-3 or 3-2 in combination). Outside the music she landed 322 jump cleanly. Didn't seem to try much on 3A. As for Lz, she succeeded 3 tries out of 5.

Adding: video clip of the practice with 3L http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3jepdg_20151225-ma-前日練習-サブリンク_sport

The men's SP just finished. Impressed by the performances of Mura and Shoma. Too bad about the fall on 4S from Yuzuru.
Results of men's (taken from GS)

1 Yuzuru HANYU 102.63 4S fall 4T-3T 3A
2 Shoma UNO 97.94 3A 4T 3F-3T
3 Takahito MURA 93.26 4T-3T 3A 3Lz
4 Daisuke MURAKAMI 83.49 4S 3A 3Lz-2T
5 Takahiko KOZUKA 78.19 4T< 3A 3Lz-2T hand
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PostSubject: Re: Japan Nationals 2015   Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:06 am

Thank you for the updates, COHK!

Hope the jump  layout change makes Mao feel at ease and regain self-confidence!

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PostSubject: Re: Japan Nationals 2015   Fri Dec 25, 2015 7:05 pm

I'm sure the change of layout helps!

more 12/25 practice clips:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3jebwo_1225-
(fall on 3A with SP practice yesterday. also about drawing of starting order: Mao says prior to the drawing that 25th is the best! [as it is the 1st after ice resurfacing] And in the end she actually got No.25!!)
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3jgjon_20151226-ma-%25E5%2589%258D%25E6%2597%25A5%25E7%25B7%25B4%25E7%25BF%2592_sport

12/26 practice before SP, in news:
http://www.daily.co.jp/newsflash/general/2015/12/26/0008677133.shtml
http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20151226-00000031-dal-spo

Mao had 2 successful 3A.

The ladies' SP should start in less than 3 hrs. Mao will skate @ around 17:00 local time. Unfortunately for today's competitions there will be no live broadcasting but only recorded broadcasting starting @ 18:30 local time.
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PostSubject: Re: Japan Nationals 2015   Fri Dec 25, 2015 7:51 pm

COHK wrote:
IMao says prior to the drawing that 25th is the best!

I had a feeling this was her favorite starting order.

Exactly where she started in the 2014 Worlds SP.


Too bad about no live broadcasting.
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PostSubject: Re: Japan Nationals 2015   Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:19 pm

I hope Mao will relax and give wonderful performances that bring a bright smile to her face in her SP and LP at the Japanese Championships.
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PostSubject: Re: Japan Nationals 2015   Sat Dec 26, 2015 1:47 am

I hope Mao will come back strong tomorrow and skate great in her freeskate. Mao, just wipe today out of your thoughts and start with a clean slate. Remember your magnificent performance of Madame Butterfly at the Japan Open and run every move through your brain until it flows out of you naturally by second nature.
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PostSubject: Re: Japan Nationals 2015   Sat Dec 26, 2015 4:54 am

Mao did some of the most beautiful jumps I have seen or anybody do in warmup. Her triple axel was gorgeous and really big: heavenly honestly. It got the biggest applause from the audience, but all the jumps were fantastic. She has it all and then some. She seemed to get a bit tense and tentative when the program started, which affected her commitment on the jumps.  She just needs to relax and let her skates glide freely. I dearly hope she can find ways to relax and focus.

Mao, remember these jumps in the warmup and your magnificent performance of Madame Butterfly at the Japan Open and run every move through your brain until it flows out of you naturally by second nature.
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PostSubject: Re: Japan Nationals 2015   Sat Dec 26, 2015 9:47 am

Yuzu said that he might be a bit tired because of the tree consecutive competitions
(NHK, GPF and Nationals) in four weeks.

Mao’s physical condition must be the same or worse considering her age.  Sad
At K&C she said she didn't know what happened, though ...
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PostSubject: Re: Japan Nationals 2015   Sat Dec 26, 2015 12:15 pm

The following site has an interview with Mao after her SP performance. I have used google translate but it is really scrambled so if someone would like to translate or summarize better than this please correct mine.

This is my best guess on some of what she says: The difference between practice and competition is a lot different after a year away from competitive skating.

She says about dropping the level of difficulty in her SP. She wanted to do what she can now without mistakes. She says it is regrettable that she was not able to .

Mao also says that in her first competition she felt more excitement about competing than she had in  a long time but gradually the motivation went away until she felt demotivated (I have to think the illnesses also had a lot to do with this). Then, Mao says something like experience teaches it is often important to exert power when one is cornered. She says, "I think I want take this course in Tomorrow's free."
http://think58.exblog.jp/

Cheer up Mao and fight back! Be tough it's time for redemption! 

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PostSubject: Re: Japan Nationals 2015   Sun Dec 27, 2015 6:51 am

Congrats to Mao made the podium Confetti

Despite a not so good morning practice, she finally overcomes the losing of confidence and finds her strength back. Even with the mistakes at the beginning, she was able to make it through the rest of the program.

Most of all, the best part is the 3Lz with +0.40 GOE!!! solid landing.

Now I'm so happy because Mao will come to Taipei for 4CC!

Adding: FP performance
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3jnmvm_mao-asada-2015-japanese-nationals-fs_sport
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PostSubject: Re: Japan Nationals 2015   Sun Dec 27, 2015 7:26 am

I am really happy for Mao!  Many Hearts   and
Good for you, COHK!  cheers













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PostSubject: Re: Japan Nationals 2015   Sun Dec 27, 2015 8:36 am

Congratulations on moving up in the FS! flower
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PostSubject: Re: Japan Nationals 2015   Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:17 am

COHK wrote:
Congrats to Mao made the podium Confetti

Despite a not so good morning practice, she finally overcomes the losing of confidence and finds her strength back. Even with the mistakes at the beginning, she was able to make it through the rest of the program.

Most of all, the best part is the 3Lz with +0.40 GOE!!! solid landing.

Now I'm so happy because Mao will come to Taipei for 4CC!

Adding: FP performance
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3jnmvm_mao-asada-2015-japanese-nationals-fs_sport

I noticed that Mao does her very best jumps in the warmups. Look at this huge and beautiful triple axel that got big applause in the warmup before her LP.

http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/showthread.php?57932-Japanese-Nationals-2015-16-Ladies-FS/page15 post number 214 twitter

So it is between practice and competition that Mao jumps the best. If she could just push it forward a bit into competition. Hopefully, some rest. practice, relief of stress and full recover from illness will help her with this.

It has been announced that Mao will be competing in both the 4CC's and Worlds.
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PostSubject: Re: Japan Nationals 2015   Sun Dec 27, 2015 4:24 pm

After finally seeing it, I have to admit Mao's Madame Butterfly here was one of the most emotional performances I have seen. Bittersweet, inexpressible and aching beauty. I could really feel Mao's pent up emotions pouring out of her. I thought the mistakes were masked by the fact that Mao aimed high by really popping her jumps with a lot of lift and commitment even when she fell on the triple axel, her edges and light, effortless speed were priceless, and her expressions, extensions and balletic grace traced every note of the music through the climax of desperation in the spread eagle. The few tears she shed at the end really brought the character of Madame Butterfly into real life because of the difficulties Mao has faced in the last month with repeated illnesses. fatigue, stress and some frustrating performances with the eyes of the world upon her, which mirror in some ways the hardships of the character she plays.

Mao did pretty well in the world of tech scores, but in the world of expression and artistry that reaches out and touches humanity I thought Mao was off the charts.

If she can just hit her jumps in her performances as well as she does in warm-up the effect will be even more wondrous. I think she made a step in that direction.
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PostSubject: Re: Japan Nationals 2015   Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:03 am

After the SP, I envisioned a perfect, emotional performance with tears at the end. Like another Sochi. And half my vision did come true.

The technical frustrations she seemed to channel into the artistic side. There were really intense faces that fit the character.

She seemed so much faster this time, and the choreo was particularly emphatic. It was like the character was frantically "running away" to the end.

This performance is definitely one of her most powerful moods. I'm not really sure how she could re-create it for future performances though, because it's based on her actual struggle at the time.
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PostSubject: Re: Japan Nationals 2015   Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:09 pm

While I think Satoko is a very good skater, I really think her huge increase in tech and overall scores have gotten far out of hand. Pardon me for being so blunt but never has anyone been given so much for doing so little in terms of their jumps. I believe it shows a high level of favoritism that belittles and undermines the efforts of other skaters like Mao, Wakaba, and Rika who try to execute jumps with a lot of height and aestheticism that creates a much higher degree of risk for falling, yet even if successful they rarely if ever reach or can merely dream of reaching Satoko who achieves these astronomic tech scores consistently, even though so many openly admit the inadequacies of Satoko's jumps and how they are in need for a whole lot of improvement. Why fix something's that wrong if making it right could increase the risk for the advantage slipping away by gaining more height and losing consistency? In this one unusual case, the height of the jump is inversely proportional to the height of the score. This is honestly one of the most bizarre contradictions I have ever seen in anything. Satoko's tech scores at the last two competitions in the LP have been almost 73 and almost 72. This is like Mao having to do her Sochi LP every time she skates (though of course Mao's tech score is deflated not inflated), yet Satoko is able to achieve this kind of score consistently at relatively low risk by by doing tiny jumps  with the help of big pre-rotation with quick often short rotation which assures that her risk of falling is very low. But, why are such jumps not called ur and why are they given GOE that are practically the same as Mao's better jumps even though Mao's are much higher? Why aren't they given zero and negative GOE with more urs because relatively that is what they should be getting in my opinion.

Even Wakaba's tech score is several points lower and she is known to have excellent jumps. Satoko is getting 10 to 11 points in GOE over her base score for tiny jumps with highly questionable rotation while Mao got 7 points over her base GOE for her legendary Sochi LP and only her base score for her 2014 Worlds LP for much larger jumps with more rotation, but many more ur calls. Satoko actually got the same GOE for her triple salchow as Mao did in the LP at Japan Nationals, and the quality of Mao's triple salchow has been repeatedly praised by Canadian announcers. It only got +.79 like Satoko's at Japan Nationals and the GOE of most of Mao's jumps is no higher than Satoko's though Maos' ACTUAL HEIGHT, FLOW and pleasing symmetry is much greater.  Mao also got a ur call on her backend 2A / 3T in the LP at Japan Nationals which I don's see at all or otherwise she would have passed Wakaba in the standings.  I strongly disagree with Satoko's score of 212 at Japan Nationals or 208 at the Grand Prix Final, with almost 72 to 73 tech scores in the LPs, especially since Mao received 2 ur calls in her SP at the Grand Prix Final for her beautiful triple flip and loop that was praised by eurosport commentators, while Satoko received no ur calls on her opening triple triple combo and no ur calls throughout the entire competition. I think Satoko should have around 15 points lower overall score for the competition given the quality of jumps of the other competitors, which is actually more than she was getting earlier this year and last year.

Here is a post from someone on youtube who has often been critical of Mao but supports her fully here in regards to the double standards for tech calls between Satoko and Mao at the Grand Prix Final:

B Brooks 2 weeks ago (edited)
+girolle01 I'm so shocked that her (Satoko's) opening 3Lz+3T combination wasn't marked as under rotated because it was clearly VERY short of rotation on both jumps and she only received a -1 in GOE from one judge. Meanwhile Mao got -2's and even one -3 in  GOE for her 3+3 combination that the technical caller marked BOTH jumps as under rotated. So why was Mao penalized so harshly yet Satoko got a free pass? This judging system is absolutely ridiculous...


Unlike last year when there was no big inflation, I think a "SHOCK Wave of inflation" rode in at the Grand Prix Final on which Mao did not have a ticket to ride. Instead, she was rather blatantly placed in last place less than 3/10 of a point behind Gracie Gold, including Mao enduring the ridiculous indignity of getting a lower score in her SP step sequence than Gracie Gold, in addition to urs being ignored on Satoko and Elena which appeared to be transferred as a debit to Mao's tech account because she received two in the SP alone. This is the ISU's way of putting Mao the three time world champion in her place and an attempt to rattle her nerves, with Satoko's and Evgenia's and Ashley's inflation taking center stage in their machinations but Elena's higher PCS than Mao in the LP and Gracie getting placed over Mao ensures they are also more privileged than Mao.  How inconsiderate that this maneuver was pulled while Mao was competing ill. No wonder she needed to pour out her pain on stage in the highly moving performance of Madame Butterfly. I am just glad that she was able to smile a little bit after her performance was over.
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PostSubject: Re: Japan Nationals 2015   Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:33 am

WowMao wrote:
Why fix something's that wrong if making it right could increase the risk for the advantage slipping away by gaining more height and losing consistency?

Your point is universal:
Why learn a basic triple loop if it's value can be concocted out of thin air in it's stead?
Why learn a triple axel, if someone fresh out of juniors can beat any triple axel program in a senior debut?
Why spend 20 years practicing ballet, if the judges can't tell the difference?
Why learn the hardest step sequence, if someone else can do easier and "beat" the best one?
Why care about choreography, if anything can get a 10?

Why fix anything, if the judges will "fix" it?

While I agree Satoko's jumps do not meet the height/distance GOE requirement, a jump that does is not automatically qualified for maximum bonus.
No matter how high or far jumps are, if that is all they are, they do not even qualify for +2.
And this goes for every skater who was/is overscored based on perceived jump "hugeness".
Height/distance is desirable, but alone not enough for maximum bonuses.

Based on how everyone else is scored, Mao's jumps meet the most GOE conditions and therefore generally qualify for +3 if they are clean. But the way she is scored is a complete contradiction from the rest...


WowMao wrote:
in addition to urs being ignored on Satoko and Elena which appeared to be transferred as a debit to Mao's tech account because she received two in the SP alone. This is the ISU's way of putting Mao the three time world champion in her place and an attempt to rattle her nerves

They obviously did something to her, because she hasn't been able to land a 3-3 since the GPF, or even a 3-2 in a SP. Illness cannot account for a pattern that continues after illness.
Notice how she is now making mistakes on the first jump of the combo, which never happened before.
The shock double downgrade must have shaken her confidence.

To have spent so many years working on that element, to have finally gotten it ratified after 6 seasons of trying, and then to be unfairly singled out and deemed the worst, must be devastating.

WowMao wrote:
I think a "SHOCK Wave of inflation" rode in at the Grand Prix Final on which Mao did not have a ticket to ride.

Here is the metaphor I have been thinking of since the GPF:
Everyone else's scores are like buoys in a rising tide.
Mao is like Andromeda chained to the rock soon to be underwater.
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